Beat Back The Winter Blahs with Throwdown TheatreSports Festival

Vancouver TheatreSports (VTS) is getting ready to beat away the winter blahs with laughter during its annual improv celebration, Throwdown – International TheatreSports Festival. Taking place at The Improv Centre on Granville Island from January 2 to 27, 2019.

The best antidote to those dreary January days is a good dose of hearty laughter and Vancouver TheatreSports has it in spades.

Throwdown – International TheatreSports Festival welcomes TheatreSports teams from other cities to join the top Vancouver improvisers in head-to-head matches with each other.

VTS Artistic & Executive Director Jay Ono adds, “This year, we concentrated on inviting the best teams from the U.S. because later this year [2019] in October, the entire TheatreSports world will be gathering in Vancouver for the 2019 International TheatreSports Institute Conference, which VTS is privileged to host. Throwdown 2019 features fabulous team companies from Honolulu, Bellingham, Portland and returning champs, the talented group from Orlando – who have won for the past three consecutive years.”

From January 2 to 19, local teams comprised of VTS ensemble members play in a classic TheatreSports round-robin competition for bragging rights of the best team in Vancouver. Working from audience suggestions, the players start improvising in hopes of scoring the biggest cheers from audience members. As in all classic TheatreSports matches, the final outcome is determined by audience judges scoring each of the ‘games’ within a match. The team with the most points wins.

January 22 to 27 welcomes the four U.S. teams in a series of hilarious matches and showcases designed to banish even the gloomiest of times. The lineup features: Sak Comedy Lab – Orlando, Florida (returning champions); Curious Comedy Theatre – Portland, Oregon; On the Spot Improv – Honolulu, Hawaii; Upfront Theatre – Bellingham, Washington.

On the last evening of Throwdown, January 27, the winners of the international competitions play with the local victors from the previous weeks in a winner-takes-all laugh fest. 

“There’s nothing like a little healthy competition to bring out the best in improv comedy,” comments Ono. “And the winner gets bragging rights for an entire year plus an invitation to return in 2020 to defend their crown.”

While no one can predict the outcome, one thing is for certain – audience members will be the winners. Arriving with winter weighing them down, and leaving with an added spring in their step after an evening of laughter.

For a full schedule of time, match information and tickets (starting from $10.75) for Throwdown – International TheatreSports Festival,  visit vtsl.com.

Celebrate with your “SuperDad” at VTSL

This Father’s Day, Vancouver TheatreSports League (VTSL) welcomes guests to a special 2pm matinee performance in celebration of Dads…The SuperDad Show.

The SuperDad Show pokes fun at the foibles and complexities of what it means to be a father these days. Based on audience suggestions, VTSL’s quick-witted improvisers could explore such relevant topics as ‘the sensitive Dad,’ ‘Dads and their love affair with the barbecue,’ ‘hockey Dads,’ ‘Dad, can I have the keys to the car?’ or ‘Dads and Daughters’ to name a few of the endless possibilities.

The family-friendly SuperDad Show takes place at 2 pm, after brunch or leaving plenty of time after the show to take Dad to dinner or to fire up the barbecue.   The Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge at VTSL’s Improv Centre will be open at 1:30 pm for pre-show drinks and, weather-pending, the patio deck over-looking the picturesque Marina will be open for an sunny sip or take your drink into the theatre to enjoy during the show.

Give your ‘super’ Dad some belly laughs instead of headaches and bring him down to The Improv Centre for an afternoon of improv hilarity. Besides, he needs something to take his mind off the fact that the Canucks didn’t make the playoffs. Warning: SuperDad may contain ‘dad jokes.’

Tickets are only $20, including the show PLUS either a glass of House Wine or Beer on Tap or non-alcoholic beverage. Tickets are on sale now at vtsl.com.

Christmas Queen 3 – The Bachellorette Edition

Christmas Queen, the malevolent mistress of mean makes her return to the Vancouver Theatresports League (VTSL) stage at the Improv Centre for another year.  In her second sequel, the Christmas Queen, continues to wreak havoc on the spirit of Christmas, this time playing with the hearts of a suite of seasonal suitors.

Who will survive the Rose Ceremony as the Bachelorette seeks to find love, or is she really in it for love?  Will it be Santa, Frosty, Elf on a Shelf, Jack Frost , The Grinch or one of her other celebrity suitors that makes the grade? Host Buttons the Elf guides us through the Cinéma vérité playing out before our eyes.  As with all VTSL shows the audience plays a big part of the performance. With panto-style cheers and boos, the audience input forms the settings and activities of the players.

The revolving cast of brilliant players, create a new show every night as Christmas Queen 3 : The Bachelorette Edition joins the VTSL repertoire until December 23.  Get your tickets now and have a holly, jolly, hysterical Holiday season!

28th Annual The Massacre a Theatresports Festival

photo: VTSL
photo: VTSL

Starting tomorrow, Vancouver Theatresports League improv shows become a bloodsport as The Massacre A Theatresports Festival kicks off.  Laughter is the perfect remedy to the winter blahs, and The Massacre is sure to have plenty.

The first two weeks of the Festival January 27 – February 6, pits the Vancouver Theatresport League troop of players against one another to see who can best tickle the funnybone of the Theatresports’ audience.  As always no two shows will be the same but if it’s anything like past years’ shows, one guarantee is that everyone will go away laughing.

The Festival’s final week, February 7 – 14, sees international teams take over The Massacre, with improvisors from as far as Mumbai and near as Bellingham (last year’s winners) battling it out for top team. No matter who comes out victorious, the real winners are the audience.

In keeping with the original theme of St Valentine’s Massacre, the Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge at the Improv Centre has prepared a couple of appropriately named cocktails; Capone’s Kiss & Holy Trinity so arrive early to start your evening with a scandalous libation.

Vancouver Theatresport League’s The Massacre opens tomorrow night, running until February February 14th, adult tickets are just $15.

Throwback TheatreSports

VTSL_ThrowbackVancouver Theatresports League (VTSL) is celebrating its 30th Anniversary and to mark the occasion they’ve debuted Throwback Theatresports, a new improv game all about the 80s.

As with all shows at Theatresports, you never know what you’re going to see, but you can guarantee you’re going to laugh.  Throwback Theatresports runs at the Improv Centre until November 21st.

Watch for special visits from Theatresports alumni to join the teams bringing some of the VTSL history with them.  From its humble beginnings at the downtown Vancouver City Stage (later renamed Back Alley Theatre) to its current home at The Improv Centre on Granville Island,  VTSL has welcomed hundreds of players to the stage, many broadening their fame in TV and film, so the player you watch tonight might show up on-screen in the near future.

Throwback Theatresports runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm until November 21st, at the Improv Centre on Granville Island.

Join Colin Mochrie at Vancouver Theatresports

Vancouver Theatresports League has seen an impressive roster of alumni pass through its stage, one of them being well known improvisors and actor Colin Mochrie. Not one to forget his roots, Mochrie is returning to the Granville Island Vancouver Improv Centre on August 20-22, 2015. Thursday night’s an Intimate Evening with Colin Mochrie includes a pre-show evening catered by Lazy Gourment and a post-performance Q&A with Mochrie.  The remainder of the weekend, two shows per night will highlight Mochrie & Friends playing some of the familiar Theatresports games.

This is a show you won’t want to miss, and judging by the fact that Vancouver Theatresports League added two shows, there’s big demand for the show so get your tickets now.  Over the five weekend shows, Mochrie will be joined by an ensemble cast of improv talents.  Like all great improv shows, you won’t know what to expect except for the guaranteed laughter that’s sure to erupt throughout the event.
Proceeds from the Colin Mochrie performances support the VTSL’s educational Improv Comedy Institute’s Colin Mochrie Scholarship Fund and other VTSL outreach programs.

Tickets to see Colin Mochrie at Vancouver Theatresports League can be purchased online at vtsl.com.

An Intimate Evening with Colin
Thursday, August 20 at 7:30 p.m.
$125 per person (plus fees and taxes)

Colin and Friends
Friday, August 21 AND Saturday, August 22
Two shows: 7:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
$80 per person for VIP seats (Table and Bench) and $70 per person for theatre seats (plus fees and taxes)

Vancouver Theatresports Improv Comedy Institute

Vancouver Theatresports League has long been teaching people the power of laughter through improv and has now introduced the Improv Comedy Institute (ICI) to formalize your studies.

ICI classes start October 18th, with sessions on the core improv areas of Spontaneity, Story, Character and Environment. Each of the 8 hour courses, taken in order, develops skills learned in the prior class.  Follow-up and continue growing your skills with the Improv Gym, then move on to audition for the Rookie League and begin your career in Improv Comedy.

Improv Comedy Institute courses start at $129 per component, registration is open now at vtsl.com/education